The Wars of the Roses, or, The Bloodiest Game of Chess Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy has seldom been produced; Part 3 has had even fewer airings as a sole production. Part 3 was likely Shakespeare’s third play, and it has widely been considered flawed. Performed to little acclaim, even receiving negative notice from other contemporary tragedians, it was seldom restaged in the centuries following its late 16th-century premiere. It has been a neglected, lesser light in Shakespeare’s canon. Until recently. Over the last ten years, Henry VI, Part 3 has been revivified through adaptation. Many popular television series—Game of Thrones, House of Cards, The Hollow Crown—were heavily inspired by this play and its trilogy. Henry VI, Part 3 contains more epic battles, family strife, backstabbing, and oath-breaking than any of Shakespeare’s other histories. This is the Bard’s take on the longest civil war in English history, the Wars of the Roses. The Wars comprise the strife between two houses, the Lancasters and the Yorks. The Lancasters, who came
HENRY VI, PART 3
into possession of the crown when Henry IV forced Richard II to abdicate, argue their right to the throne through inheritance. Yet, the Yorks contend that Richard, 3rd Duke of York, is rightful heir, being the great-grandson of King Edward III, who was the grandfather of Richard II—placing him next in line to the throne over Henry VI. After centuries in the shade, why has this play come to life for contemporary audiences? What is it about the nobles playing their bloody game of chess that excites us? Perhaps it’s the historical lore of the Plantagenet family we find fascinating. Maybe we enjoy watching nobles scramble for the throne. Or maybe, within all of us, there is an attraction to violence. How much violence will we gorge on before we crave “peace”? Can there ever truly be peace while people are hungry for power? —ALEX VERMILLION, PRODUCTION DRAMATURG
APRIL 11 AT 8PM APRIL 12 AT 4PM AND 8PM APRIL 13 AT 4PM Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel Street
YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA James Bundy, Dean Victoria Nolan, Deputy Dean Chantal Rodriguez, Associate Dean Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., Assistant Dean
England and France, the 15th century.
There will be a ten-minute intermission.
Assistant Sound Designer/Engineer
Yitong Huang Stage Management Student Supervisor
John A. Carlin
HENRY VI, PART 3 By William Shakespeare Directed by Logan Ellis
Production Staff Associate Production Manager
Ben Jones Technical Director
Laura Copenhaver Assistant Technical Director
in alphabetical order
York, George, Lady Bona
Brandon E. Burton
Beatrice Vena Lighting Designer
Nic Vincent Projection Designer
John R. Colley Henry
Gregory Saint Georges Princess Edward, Rutland
Sound Designer and Original Music
Alex Vermillion Stage Manager
Jinghong “Kevin” Zhu
Rachel Kenney Unknown Soldier
Evelyn Giovine Richard
Stephen Marks Sean Preston Hudson Oz Henriëtte Rietveld Valerie Tu
Administration Associate Managing Director
Caitlin Crombleholme Assistant Managing Director
Caitlin Volz Management Assistant
Doireann Mac Mahon
Eliza Orleans Emma Perrin
Clifford, Elizabeth, King Louis
Juliana Martínez Warwick
Ciara Monique McMillian Unknown Soldier
Dario Ladani Sanchez
Supported by The Benjamin Mordecai III Production Fund.
Assistant Projection Designer
Lisa D. Richardson Yale School of Drama productions are supported by the work of more than 200 faculty and staff members throughout the year.
Matt Daley, Chris Evans, Latiana (LT) Gourzong, Anna Grigo, Sean Preston, Kelsey Rainwater, Wladimiro Wonyo Rodriguez, Liam Bellman-Sharpe, Erin Sullivan, Camilla Tassi. The Studio Series productions are designed to be learning experiences that complement classroom work, providing a medium for students at Yale School of Drama to combine their individual talents and energies toward the staging of collaboratively created works. THE BENJAMIN MORDECAI III PRODUCTION FUND, established by a graduate of the School, honors the memory of the Tony Award-winning producer who served as Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, 1982–1993, and as Associate Dean and Chair of the Theater Management Department from 1993 until his death in 2005.